TheLines: Home teams are strong favorites heading into NFL Divisional Round

When it comes to the history of the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, home teams have dominated. It’s no surprise then that the league’s two best teams throughout the 2020-21 season are significant favorites heading into this weekend’s games, according to TheLines, which tracks odds in the US regulated sports betting market.

In the last 13 years, home teams in the Divisional Round are 36-16 straight up, including 3-1 last season. This is great news for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers, who both find themselves favorites by a touchdown or better this weekend. The Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints are favorites for their home games too.

Bettors will have to be more diligent in deciding their picks. Underdogs are 27-24-1 against the spread over the last 13 years, even as favorites have gone 3-1 in each of the last two seasons.

The Chiefs are currently 10-point home favorites in their game with the upstart Cleveland Browns, while the Packers are 7-point favorites against the visiting Los Angeles Rams according to a consensus of the nation’s largest legal online sportsbooks including DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, PlaySugarHouse, BetMGM, Unibet, and William Hill.

Meanwhile, the Bills and Saints enter the week as much narrower favorites. Buffalo is only 2.5-point favorites for their game with the Baltimore Ravens, while New Orleans is 3-point favorites in their contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brett Collson, lead analyst for TheLines.com, said: “Unlike in the Wild Card round, the home teams in the Divisional Round are historically the best teams in the NFL that season.

“Even with the new playoff structure, the top four seeds will host this weekend. But picking a home favorite is never automatic, especially as the quality of teams improve as teams advance in the playoffs.”

The consensus point spreads for Divisional Round games, as of Monday, Jan. 11:

  • Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers (-7); over/under 46
  • Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills (-2.5); over/under 50
  • Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (-10); over/under 55.5
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-3); over/under 51.5

The current odds for remaining playoff teams to win Super Bowl LV as of Monday, Jan. 11 (with preseason odds):

  • Kansas City Chiefs +200 (+600)
  • Green Bay Packers +400 (+3100)
  • Buffalo Bills +600 (+2500)
  • New Orleans Saints +600 (+1200)
  • Baltimore Ravens +800 (+650)

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